Tag Archives | Bottled Water

Did Coca-Cola Trash The Grand Canyon’s Plastic Bottle Ban?

It’s good to see the mainstream media calling foul on some corporate dirty work. Karin Kline writes in the LA Times:

240px-The_Coca-Cola_Company_logoGrand Canyon National Park was just about to impose a ban on single-use plastic water bottles — the most common form of trash found along its trails — when the plan was suddenly put on hold, the New York Times reported. The paper raises the possibility that Coca-Cola Co. was able to get a sympathetic ear at the National Parks Foundation because the company, which bottles Dasani water, is a major donor.

This isn’t a radical new idea. Zion National Park already has a ban. The park provides “hydration stations” for people to refill their reusable bottles, as the Grand Canyon park would have.

The story included a strange comment from a Coca-Cola spokeswoman, who said that bans on single-use plastic bottles are never the answer, and that recycling would resolve the problem.

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Erin Brockovich Where Are You? Hexavalent Chromium Found In 31 American Cities

Animation by Chris 73 (CC)

Animation by Chris 73 (CC)

This is the best advertisement for reverse-osmosis walter filters that I’ve seen yet. Mind you, the intentionally-added fluoride in many public water systems is just as bad — although interested parties would have you believe otherwise. Don’t think that bottled water is the answer, either — many bottled waters contain chemicals too because 40% of bottled water is drawn from municipal supplies. From the Washington Post:

A new analysis showing the presence of a probable carcinogen in the tap water of 31 cities across the country, including the District and Bethesda, has raised questions about what consumers in those communities can do to reduce their exposure.

The chemical, hexavalent chromium, got public attention via the 2000 film “Erin Brockovich” and has been deemed a “probable carcinogen” by the National Toxicology Program, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Although basic water filters such as those made by Brita and PUR do not remove hexavalent chromium, several reverse-osmosis systems designed for home use can take the chemical out of water.

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Plastic Bottles Can Ruin Your Sperm

PlasticBottlesFor all you macho men who couldn’t give a crap about your carbon footprint, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and other problems associated with bottled water, maybe this will help you get off the bottle: BPAs, one of the toxins in plastic bottled water, can seriously lower your sperm count. Oh, and also BPAs can cause erectile dysfunction. Still want to drink from plastic bottles? From CNN:

Exposure to bisphenol-A (BPA), a controversial chemical found in hard, clear plastics, is thought to increase the risk of birth defects, early puberty, obesity, brain damage, and some forms of cancer.

Add another potential problem to the list: A new study of Chinese factory workers suggests that very high levels of BPA exposure may decrease sperm count and contribute to other sperm-related problems in men.

The findings aren’t surprising. BPA—which can be found in some baby bottles and water bottles, as well the linings of food and beverage cans—is known to be a so-called endocrine disruptor that functions “like a weak estrogen” and blocks male sex hormones (including testosterone), says the lead author of the study, De-Kun Li, M.D., a reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist at Kaiser Permanente’s division of research, in Oakland, California.

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Want To Lose Weight? Simple – Drink Water!

Photo: Matthew Bowden (www.digitallyrefreshing.com)

Photo: Matthew Bowden (www.digitallyrefreshing.com)

Can it really be this easy? It certainly won’t cost much to try it out (just don’t use bottled water!). From Business Week:

Close the diet books and skip the pills. The latest weight-loss trick may be as simple as gulping a couple of glasses of water before you eat.

A new study found that middle-aged and older adults who drank two cups of water before each meal consumed fewer calories and lost more weight than those who skipped drinking water.

Researchers divided two groups of overweight and obese men and women aged 55 to 75 into two groups: one group was told to follow a low-fat, low-calorie diet; the other group was told to follow the same diet and to drink two cups of water before breakfast, lunch and dinner.

After 12 weeks, those who drank water before meals had lost 15.5 pounds, compared to 11 pounds for the non-water drinkers, a nearly 30 percent difference.

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I’m Done With Celebrity Endorsements

banner_tapped_homeStephanie Soechtig, director of the disinformation documentary Tapped, writing at Huffington Post:

At the risk of career suicide I’m calling bullshit on the hypocrisy of Hollywood and its celebrity endorsements. From Reese Witherspoon endorsing Avon — a company that loads its products with phthalates and parabens (chemicals linked to breast cancer) — to Jennifer Aniston, a woman who says she cares about conserving water resources and then endorses bottled water.

You can’t turn around these days without seeing a Hollywood A-lister endorsing a product. Here’s my problem with the whole situation: often they are endorsing products that aren’t good for us and aren’t good for the environment.

Seriously people, WTF? Am I the only one who saw Spider-Man? You know, “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility?”

Take Reese Witherspoon and her colleagues Jessica Alba, Halle Berry, Julia Roberts, Drew Barrymoore, Jessica Biel, et al — all these women endorse various brands of cosmetics that contain parabens, phthalates, and other endocrine-disrupting, cancer-causing ingredients.

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Nestlé Steps Up The Bottled Water Battle

Photo: Ten Thousand Bullets (CC)

Deborah Ball looks at the Swiss bottled water giant Nestlé and its fight against those who prefer their water delivered in more responsible ways, in the Wall Street Journal:

CASCADE LOCKS, Oregon—In this idyllic town on the north slope of Mount Hood, an autopsy on three dead rainbow trout may play a role in Nestlé SA’s efforts to reverse a deep slide in its bottled-water business.

Bottled water, which for years delivered double-digit growth for Nestlé, is under fire from environmentalists. They decry the energy used to transport it and the use of billions of plastic bottles, and oppose efforts to use new springs, citing concerns about water scarcity.

In Cascade Locks, Nestlé is trying to tap 100 million gallons of water annually for its Arrowhead water brand from a new spring—and keep the environmentalists happy, too. A key is proving that water drawn from the spring—which supplies a hatchery that raises Idaho Sockeye, an endangered species—can be replaced with municipal well water, with no harm to the fish.

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Finally A Plastic That We Can Feel Good About

PlasticBottlesIf this becomes real, maybe we can stop feeling so guilty about all those plastic water bottles. That’s a big ‘if,’ though, so get off the bottle for now… Story from Popular Mechanics:

By year’s end, an Indiana company says it will be making plastic from algae, substituting up to half of the material normally derived from fossil fuels with biomass from the aquatic plants, and selling the product to manufacturers.

As the bioplastics industry surges, a search for alternative feedstocks led Cereplast CEO Frederic Scheer and his colleagues to algae, which he says is close enough to the starches the company already turns into plastics—like corn, wheat and tapioca—to go commercial after just 18 months of R&D. There’s just one hitch: getting enough of the green stuff to make it in quantity. Given a big enough source of algae, Scheer says, “we could have introduced this product probably last year.”

Algae has long been hailed by many as the best hope for an alternative to fossil and food-based fuels, but difficulties growing and processing it cheaply have kept it just over the green horizon for decades.

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American Town Bans Bottled Water

Photo: Ten Thousand Bullets (CC)

Photo: Ten Thousand Bullets (CC)

Is this the beginning of the end for plastic bottles of water? Is there hope that the Great Pacific (and Atlantic) Garbage Patch might stop growing? Here at disinformation we’re sensitized to the issues as we’ll soon be releasing the movie Tapped on DVD, but could this ban be going to far, too soon? Report from The Boston Channel:

The town of Concord has banned the sale of bottled drinking water in town beginning in 2011. “We only have one planet and I just don’t want to see it spoiled,” said Jean Hill, who introduced the measure at Concord’s Town Meeting.

Hill said that New York, Illinois and Virginia, as well as more than 100 cities, have taken action to cut spending on bottled water.

The measured passed by Concord would allow the sale of refillable containers of water, which could still be sold and delivered in town.

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When Water Bottles Kill

Last week I posted a story about Tapped filmmaker Stephanie Soechtig's Get Off The Bottle tour. Stephanie and co-producer Sarah Olson came by the disinformation NYC offices and I asked her about her appearance on Fox Business Network's John Stossel show the night before. I feared the worst after reading Stossel's blog post in which he wrote: "On my FBN show, tonight at 8pm ET, I'll confront director Stephanie Soechtig about the myths she's pushing." Here's the confrontation - who do you think comes out on top? My vote's with Stephanie, although she didn't have a chance to add information about some of the other problems of bottled water, such as the massive plastic garbage patches now floating in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.
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